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Baffle fenestration with subsequent transcatheter closure. Modification of the Fontan operation for patients at increased risk.

Circulation 1990 November
Ventricular dysfunction, elevated pulmonary vascular resistance, and residual distal pulmonary artery distortion contribute to early mortality after a Fontan operation; they may be transient or reversible. A baffle fenestration, allowing right-to-left shunting, maintains cardiac output and limits right atrial pressure. A baffle fenestration was surgically created at the time of a modified Fontan repair in 20 consecutive patients. Risk factors included pulmonary artery pressure of 18 mm Hg or more, end-diastolic pressure of 12 mm Hg or more, valvar regurgitation, pulmonary artery distortion, pulmonary vascular resistance of 2 Woods' units or more, ventricular outflow obstruction, and complex anatomy. Nineteen of 20 patients survived. After the operation, mean arterial oxygen saturation was 86%, mean right atrial pressure was 15 mm Hg, and mean duration of pleural effusions was 6 days. Twelve of 19 survivors tolerated early test occlusion and had permanent transcatheter umbrella closure. Four patients failed early test occlusion, with a significant decrease in venous O2 saturation and a rise in central venous pressure, due to ventricular dysfunction, pulmonary artery distortion, or aortopulmonary collaterals. Three of four had successful late closure of the fenestration after correction of these abnormalities.

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